Finding Plumbing Issues Early

Three Things To Do If Your Water Heater Stops Working

by Chris Bowman

Most homes are full of appliances that need regular maintenance. We rely on them to wash our clothes, keep food and air at proper temperatures, and water warm in the home. However, sometimes these appliances don't work as they should. When you find yourself taking a cold shower due to a broken water heater, here are three things you should do:

Check the Pilot Light

The gas water heater in your home will have a pilot light that should stay lit. The pilot light is there to ignite and start the water heater when gas is released to the unit. If the pilot light is out and gas keeps firing to the unit, this could cause issues with carbon monoxide in the home. High carbon monoxide levels are very dangerous and can be deadly. If you smell gas or have a carbon monoxide alarm going off, you should exit the home immediately. Call for emergency services if anyone is feeling lethargic or showing any other signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you suspect the heater is having issues, look to see if the light is still lit. You can consult your water heater owners manual for directions to try and fix this. If the pilot light still won't ignite, its time to call a plumber to come and help you troubleshoot.

Flushing the Water Heater

If you live in an area with hard water, you may have some mineral build-up. This type of build-up can affect the flow of the water and the speeds it is heated. You should drain and flush the water tank at least once a year. If you haven't done this maintenance, it might explain why your unit isn't working well. Call a plumber to walk you through this process if you have no experience doing it. They will help you hook up a hose and drain the water heater so you get rid of the extra sediment build up in the tank. Learning to do this maintenance can help extend the life of your water heater and save you some extra service fees too.

Consider Tankless Systems

Tankless water heaters are popular alternatives to the standard gas water heater. They can make the water hot on demand and use much less energy because the tank is smaller and more efficient. Traditional water heaters have a huge storage of water and it runs constantly during the day to keep water at the right temperature. If you're ready for instant hot water and smaller energy bills, a tankless system might be perfect for you.

You don't want to ignore any warning signs from your water heater. Take a look and see if you notice anything amiss. Call a local plumber to make sure your unit is running well and safe for your home!